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See also: Reign


Alternative forms[edit]


From Middle English regnen, borrowed from Old French regner, from the Latin verb rēgnō, and the noun regnum.



reign (plural reigns)

  1. The exercise of sovereign power.
    England prospered under Elizabeth I's reign.
    • (Can we date this quote by Prior and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      Saturn's sons received the threefold reign / Of heaven, of ocean, and deep hell beneath.
  2. The period during which a monarch rules.
    The reign of Victoria was a long one.
  3. The territory or sphere over which a kingdom; empire; realm; dominion, etc. is ruled.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Edmund Spenser to this entry?)


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.


reign (third-person singular simple present reigns, present participle reigning, simple past and past participle reigned)

  1. (intransitive) To exercise sovereign power, to rule as a monarch.
    He reigned in an autocratic manner.
  2. (transitive, rare, nonstandard) To reign over (a country)
    • 2007, Anna Chilewska, Writing after the gaze: the rupture of the historical[1]:
      The House of Piast reigned Poland from its foundation to 1385.
  3. To be the winner of the most recent iteration of a competition.
  4. To be a dominant quality of a place or situation; to prevail, predominate, rule.
    Silence reigned.
    • 2007, Richard Bawden, “Redesigning Animal Agriculture: a Systemic Perspective”, in David L. Swain, Ed Charmley, John Steel, Shaun Coffey, editors, Redesigning Animal Agriculture: The Challenge of the 21st Century[2], CABI, page 1:
      Unfortunately – and ironically – the word ‘system’ itself is used in such a wide variety of contexts within animal science, as indeed it is in virtually every domain of human activity, that confusion reigns about what a systems-oriented research programme actually looks like and what systems-oriented animal scientists actually do.